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Matchmaker, The Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 January 2004

The Matchmaker

Polygram Video
MPAA rating: R
starring: Janeane Garofalo, David O'Hara, Milo O'Shea, Jay O. Sanders, Denis Leary, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Saffron Burrows
release year: 1997
reviewed by: Abbie Bernstein

If you're looking for pretty Irish scenery supporting a romantic comedy, you could do worse than 'The Matchmaker.' Then again, you could also do better. 'The Matchmaker' is pleasant, wispy vacation of a movie, perked up by some handsome landscapes and the matter-of-fact charm of star Janeane Garofalo.

Graofalo's character, Marcy Tizard, is a harried U.S. Senatorial aid working on a re-election campaign. As part of a hoped-for-P.R. stunt, Marcy reluctantly allows herself to shipped off to the small town of Ballinagra, Ireland, where her boss ostensibly has family roots. She arrives just in time for the annual matchmaking festival, turning her into a target for every marriage peddler in the neighborhood.

Director Mark Joffe sets an amiable, relaxed tone, but the script by Karen Janzen, Louis Nowra and Graham Linehan, based on a screenplay by Greg Dinner, runs into some problems of structure and urgency in the second half, becoming less plausible and energetic as it goes along. Fortunately, Garofalo's down-to-earth, quizzical demeanor makes her character an agreeable companion, even when the story demands that she makes some fairly silly choices. The visuals are also worth a look, especially the vivid greens and blues of sea and hills in Chapter 6, which is accompanied by a Celtic-flavored pop ballad that may be 'Matchmaker''s greatest demand on your sound system. There's also a positively painting-esque shot at the beginning of Chapter 11 that is startling beautiful, unfortunately Joffe doesn't attempt to maintain the look, sliding back instead to the comfortable, mudane ton that pretty much blankets the whole enterprise.

more details
sound format:
Dolby Stereo
aspect ratio(s):
Widescreen Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
special features: Standard & Widescreen Versions; English, French and Spanish Subtitles; Interactive Menus; Biographies
comments: email us here...
reference system
DVD player: Kenwood DV-403
receiver: Kenwood VR-407
main speakers: Paradigm Atom
center speaker: Paradigm CC-170
rear speakers: Paradigm ADP-70
subwoofer: Paradigm PDR-10
monitor: 27-inch Toshiba

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